What a great start we had this week! It’s always so much fun to see old friends, as well as new faces, turning up at Barclay’s on that first morning– and it just wouldn’t be the same without a little rain shower to start the year off right!! (Thanks to Miki Neant for remembering to snap a ‘first day’ photo!) A very warm welcome if you’ve just joined us this week– hopefully you could feel how happy we are to have you with us. Every single one of us has been new to the group at some point, so we genuinely want to make you feel comfortable and included, and we look forward to getting to know you– friendships flourish quickly when we are putting in the miles (and the coffees) together!
A reminder for anyone just now joining us, we meet at Barclay’s by 8:15 for an 8:20 departure. It’s a good idea to always bring an Oyster or credit card, because we often travel home by tube. And a further reminder for all… we are a large group and we can be unintentionally intimidating to pedestrians when we’re caught up in our run and our conversations! Please be aware and considerate of the Londoners with whom we share the sidewalks– PLEASE don’t take the full width of the sidewalk when there are others around, and do give enough space that they don’t feel we’re running over them!
Finding our ‘happy pace.’ If you’re new and not finding the right pace group, please speak up! We really want to help you find the people who are doing the pace and distance you’re looking for, but sometimes it might take more than one try to get it right. Any of the returning runners can point you to someone who will be able to help. If you are a returning runner, try not to worry too much about established pace groups these first couple of weeks. Some women have been running all summer and some haven’t so much– and both of those summer options are fine! But we do need to be careful to avoid injury by not trying to just pick up where we left off last spring without regard for training differences over the last 10 weeks. Find the pace that is right for you right now, and there will be others who are running that pace. Our routes these first couple of weeks offer flexibility on distance, and they are familiar (or at least in familiar territory). If we take a couple of weeks to get back in the groove, our pace groups will begin to settle in naturally. Look for more on this, and the introduction of pace group leaders, in next week’s e-mail.
Running this week. Don’t forget to look at the maps and route descriptions at the end of this e-mail!! It’s tradition to do our 4-mile trip to Big Ben on the first Monday back. This route is a standard favourite for us– kind of like a London tour, but free, with exercise, and no following a tour guide with a pink flag (though maybe a pink hat)! This run also has options for more mileage– see details on the map below. On Wednesday we’re trying a new run that Darcy Fautz and Erin Roth came up with in response to requests to maximise our time in green spaces, as well as to have some fresh Wednesday options. It looks great– thanks, ladies! We’ll head to the Primrose Hill entrance off of Elsworthy Rd, and then take in the view at the top before coasting down to Regents Park for a nice loop around and back to St Johns Wood. Please, everyone look at the map ahead of time so we are not dependent on just a few people who know the route! And on Friday we will tackle the Hill again, up Fitzjohn Rd to the Heath. See all Heath options via the link below, or ask around at Barclay’s for a group running an alternative route.
Beginners’ Group. Our Class of ’20 Beginners had their first run last Thursday, but it’s not too late! If you have any friends who are interested in joining, please have them email [email protected]. (Remember that the beginner group is for women who have never run before.) . We always expect that women will continue to join in the first few weeks, especially those who hear about us at ASL’s SCOOP event, but the sooner they join, the better and easier it is for them!
Announcements and Shoutouts. If you ordered a black running cap during the Spring kit order a few months back, you should have received an e-mail from kitmaster Marissa O’Malia to let you know they have finally arrived! Don’t forget to bring your £25 payment on Monday to receive the hat after the run. Otherwise, Marissa’s e-mail offered alternate times she is available for collection and payment, so you can work that out directly with her. And for anyone who is wishing they had ordered one, good news… there will be a limited number of extra hats for sale! Sit tight and we will give you details about where and when.
Save the Date! We are planning a Welcome Back Coffee for Wednesday, September 18, after our run. Details to follow… but we hope you will mark your calendars to join us!
Enjoy this beautiful weekend, everyone! I can’t wait to get out there running with you all again next week… see you at Barclay’s!
Monday 2 September – Big Ben (4-8 miles)This is a WRW standard, and such a fun route! We run right through the heart of London and stop at the famous Big Ben. The 8 mile option is for runners who’ve been training for a fall race.
On Monday we head to Hyde Park via the usual route. Start heading west on Circus Road and turn left on Grove End and follow south as it becomes Lisson Grove. Cross over Marylebone Road and continue on Seymour Place until the end. Turn right and cross over Edgware Road and then left to enter Hyde Park at the intersection with Stanhope Place. Run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under Wellington Arch and down Constitution Hill. Run along the edge of Green Park, past the Victoria Memorial and cross The Mall at the traffic light. Run down The Mall and enter St. James Park. Run over the bridge across the lake and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben. Those running four miles will take the tube back to SJW from here and those running eight will turn around and follow the same route back. You can also make it a five-mile run by turning back at Big Ben and running to the Green Park Tube Station, then tubing it home.
Wednesday 4 September – new run!— Primrose Hill/Regents Park Loop (5 miles)
Start out as if we’re headed for the Heath, running down St Johns Wood Terrace until it reaches the T. Turn left, then right, then left again at Avenue Rd. At the crossing just a short distance up Avenue Rd, cross over and run down Elsworthy Rd a short distance until you see a small road on the right that ends in the entrance to Primrose Hill park. Once in the park take the path that angles to the left, then bear right at the first fork and left at the second. This will take you up for a fantastic view from the top of Primrose Hill. After you’ve caught your breath, take the path that goes down on the right (if you are looking out toward London), then curve around to the left at the first split. Follow this path all the way down the hill to the crossing at Prince Albert Rd. Cross at the zebra and head straight into the park via the bridge and across the Outer Circle (NOT a zebra, please note!). In Regents Park, take the path that angles to the left, running behind the zoo. Cross the Broad Walk by the fountain and continue across on the path that heads toward, but not all the way to, the perimeter of the park. Follow this to the far corner, and then turn right to run along the southern edge of the park, inside the fence. Continue to follow this around the boating pond to run across the little bridge at the far end of the pond, then bear right to follow the contour of the pond to its end. Continue on the same path until it meets the diagonal path that runs behind the zoo (the same one we ran in on). Turn left to follow that to its end and then turn left onto the Outer Circle and follow it for a short distance to the crossing at Charlbert. Exit the park and take Charlbert to St Johns Wood Terrace to finish at our Starbucks/Pret corner of the High Street.
Friday, 6 September – The Heath
There are multiple mileage options below, and the link will take you to all the maps.
4 miles: A great way to ease into running the hill. Run up to the Hampstead tube station and back. If you have trouble running up, think about how easy it will be running down!
5 miles: The Betsy Route
6+ miles: The partial Heath route OR the Reverse Heath route OR Pergola route
7.5 miles: The Highgate route
8 miles: The full Heath route
Click here for maps of all of the Heath routes.